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Nutcracker Reports


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#31 Helene

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Posted 03 January 2005 - 02:29 PM

Hope this isn't regarded as  :offtopic:  but we were watching the PNB Nutcracker movie over the holidays and got to wondering if any of the young dancers in it made professional careers of it.  Any PNBophiles know the answer to this?

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Is this a question about the children in the movie? If so, I'm afraid I don't recognize any of the names, but that wouldn't be surprising: very few of the children at School of American ballet who are from NYC and start when they are very young become professional dancers, with Judith Fugate and Peter Boal being notable exceptions. It's mostly the kids who show up as teenagers for pre-professional training that track to companies.

If you mean the dancers in adult roles, the dancers who retired from PNB are Kevin Kaiser (Moor), Angela Stirling (Observer), who is now a company photographer for PNB, Wade Walthall (Prince), Artistic Director of Evergreen City Ballet, Benjamin Houk (Adult at Party), who was Patricia Barker's long-time partner, led Nashville Ballet and Fort Worth/Dallas (1996-2001) and was a finalist in the search for Russell/Stowell's replacement, and Julie Tobiason (Snowflake/Flower) became a Principal Dancer and retired a few years ago.

Gerard Ebitz (Adult at Party) danced with NYCB and is on the faculty roster for New World School of the Arts. Erica Fischbach danced with ABT after an early career at PNB, but she's no longer listed on the Company's website, although a Google search will lead to a bio that was linked from their site.

To get back on topic, on stage the character of Drosselmeyer isn't quite as creepy as it is in the movie, at least in the first act. He's mean, and keeps picking on Clara and inciting Fritz and his friends to riot, but he's not someone who would require a visit from Social Services.

#32 sandik

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Posted 03 January 2005 - 03:41 PM

To get back on topic, on stage the character of Drosselmeyer isn't quite as creepy as it is in the movie, at least in the first act.  He's mean, and keeps picking on Clara and inciting Fritz and his friends to riot, but he's not someone who would require a visit from Social Services.

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I've seen him played both ways -- as relatively benign or as a predator. Part of it seems to rest on the relationship that the performer has with the adult dancing Clara. If the age difference is really pronounced, then it can look very disturbing.

#33 Helene

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Posted 03 January 2005 - 04:14 PM


To get back on topic, on stage the character of Drosselmeyer isn't quite as creepy as it is in the movie, at least in the first act.  He's mean, and keeps picking on Clara and inciting Fritz and his friends to riot, but he's not someone who would require a visit from Social Services.

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I've seen him played both ways -- as relatively benign or as a predator. Part of it seems to rest on the relationship that the performer has with the adult dancing Clara. If the age difference is really pronounced, then it can look very disturbing.

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I agree that Act II, with Adult Clara, is where the creepiness can set in. Particularly since this is supposed to be Clara's strange dream.

#34 chauffeur

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Posted 04 January 2005 - 07:38 AM

Is this a question about the children in the movie?

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Yes, we were thinking of the kids. I knew Barker is still dancing but assumed the other adults had mostly retired. We were mostly wondering about the young Clara, as she seemed to have some talent. Fritz was definitely destined for a long and productive career in regional musical theater. :)

But I'm not surprised to hear that none of the kids seem to have gone onto pro careers.

And back to topic, yes, the PNB Drosselmeyer is probably the creepiest of any filmed or live version we've ever seen. Even my 6-year-old picked up on the undercurrent of something unsavory. Of course, it was also a little weird to realize that the film-version Drosselmeyer bears an unsettling resemblance to Queer Eye's Carson. :) We kept waiting for him to start flinging open closets and tossing clothes offstage!


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